The West may learn too late that there are only two options before us: Christ or chaos. Once we abandon God, as Dostoevsky warned, everything becomes permissible. And when everything is permissible, we lose, not only any meaningful basis for evaluating the behaviour of other cultures, but any effective means of slowing the moral decline of our own.
Since FIFA announced Qatar would be hosting the 2022 World Cup, the international football association has copped a world of criticism. Western nations, in particular, have threatened to boycott the tournament and its sponsors in protest of the predominantly Muslim country’s rejection of “Progressive” ideology.
No shortage of opinion pieces have been penned lamenting ‘human rights abuses’ in Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable by up to three years in prison. Social media has been flooded with calls for players to boycott the competition, or at the very least, sport gay-pride uniforms or LGBTQAI+ symbolism alongside their national emblems.
In a mark of revolt, the U.S. men’s national team ditched their red, white, and blue crest, for the rainbow flag. A similar theme was adopted for their Qatar-based training facilities and press room backdrop. Other nations have threatened to do the same.
Amid all the pearl-clutching, however, is a glaring assumption that Qatar is in violation of some universal moral standard to which they must be held accountable. The problem is, the West is no longer able to coherently identify the moral standard they’re trying to impose on the world. So, like spoilt children, they stomp their feet and issue threats because the other kids don’t want to play by their made-up rules.
Non-Western nations know it better than most Westerners. To undermine, challenge, or criticise Qatar’s culture, you must first assume a moral standard of which their society falls short. You must assume a measure of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ that Qatar is guilty of violating. But what is that moral standard and who gets to define it for the rest of the world?
For decades, so-called Progressives have insisted that morality is defined by the culture. After all, this is what the term “Progressive” implies. But if morality is defined at a social level, then what basis does one society have in criticising another? What ground is there for imposing one culture’s moral standard on a society that has developed their own? There can be no logical justification for this unless moral relativism is rejected, and a transcendent moral standard assumed – a standard to which one culture reflects more than the other.
It’s no good, at this point, to suggest that morality is democratically defined, or that ‘rights’ are determined by the consensus of the majority. This would mean “Progressives” could never condemn as ‘immoral’ anything previous generations deemed morally acceptable.